Oct. 10, 2021

As existing business aircraft users navigate the post-pandemic financial environment and new buyers enter the industry, the 2021 NBAA Tax, Regulatory and Risk Management Conference emphasized the importance of not cutting corners when considering tax and ownership liabilities on aircraft purchases and use.

Taking place Oct. 10-11 ahead of the 2021 NBAA Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (NBAA-BACE), the conference examined the latest tax and regulatory issues affecting the industry, as well as common “myths” believed by both new and seasoned business aircraft users that could expose them to significant tax liabilities, and even legal action, down the line.

Aviation attorneys Joanne Barbera, with Barbera & Watkins, LLC and Stewart Lapayowker, with Lapayowker Jet Counsel, P.A., offered a hypothetical discussion between a tax attorney representing a new business aircraft user and the counsel guiding them through this process.

“You need to have your technical team to help you with the delivery,” Lapayowker emphasized. “You need to decide whether you’re going to create [an aircraft] management company, flight department or hire an aircraft management company. And you need to make sure you have some tax background – a CPA experienced with business aviation issues.”

Sessions also examined the complexities of immediate expensing; tax and regulatory compliance for non-business use or operating under Part 91; how to properly structure an aircraft lease; and applicability of federal excise tax (FET) on passengers, among other topics.

Incoming NBAA Tax Committee chair David Hernandez, of Vedder Price PC, opened the conference by lauding its more than 200 attendees for their significant role in navigating the COVID-19 crisis and ensuring business aviation interests were represented in federal stimulus and tax relief programs.

“What can we possibly say to the folks in this room after the most traumatic 18 months in the history of business aviation, at least in our generation?” he said. “And the thing that comes to mind is, thank you.”

The complete, recorded two-day conference will be available later this month for viewing online and free to registered in-person attendees.

Learn more about the conference.

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